AN hour or so away from the Philsports Arena by car, Rain or Shine Yeng Guiao expects to see Tyler Wilkerson suited up for San Miguel by the time he reaches the decaying Pasig arena.
His reason is simple.
"It's a solvable problem," the fiery coach said when asked about the dugout confrontation between Wilkerson and SMB coaches and officials that left the import's status in a cloud of doubt for Game Three of their PBA Commissioner's Cup semifinal series.
"I'm not expecting San Miguel to play without an import," Guiao added. "We'll be very lucky if they play without Wilkerson, but I didn't prepare to play them without an import."
Wilkerson had a much-publicized dugout confrontation with coach Leo Austria and SMB officials in the aftermath of a 96-98 loss to Rain or Shine that left the Beermen trailing, 0-2, in the best-of-five semifinal series.
The enigmatic import also skipped practice the next day, leading to doubts on whether he'll be suiting up in a win-or-go-home game for the reigning Philippine Cup champions.
Guiao, however, pointed out that the SMB conflict is nothing that good management team can't solve - the reason he doubts if Wilkerson will skip a game as important as Thursday's do-or-die match.
"It's not a big problem. You can easily knock some sense into his head," Guiao said. "Number two, the import will realize he has invested so much to this campaign para iwan p n'ya."
The outspoken Guiao said he'll be more worried if SMB plays with an all-Filipino lineup.
"They'll be more dangerous if they play all-Filipino," he said. "The issue will only galvanize the team, bring them together. Psychologically, it can lift up the spirit of the team."